Alicia Ho with Precious Ones Photography put together a great list of tips for sleepy babies in her recent blog post, How to Get Newborn to Sleep Without Being Held.   It was so good, that I reached out to see if I could feature her and her tips on my blogGetting babies to sleep during a newborn session can sometime be a challenge. Precious Ones Photography an amazing Toronto newborn photographer put together a great list of tips for getting little babies to sleep during sessions, without having to be held. Her tips are amazing for both photographers and new parents looking to get babies to sleep faster without having to hold them the entire time.

How to Get Newborn to Sleep Without Being Held | Guest Blog Feature | Newborn Photographer Alicia Ho


“Sleep while baby sleeps” is good advise for new moms and dads, but parents also need to know how to get newborn to sleep without being held so they can get some snooze in.  During our Toronto newborn photoshoots, many of the poses we photograph baby in, such as in little buckets, adorable beds, or simply on a beanbag require newborns to sleep on their own. So we will share a few tips on how to get newborn to sleep without being held.

Newborn sleep is a complicated and simple task, both at the same time. Because ultimately, what we want to do is to soothe baby so they feel like mommy’s warm and cozy womb.  We want to try to create the perfect environment so we get a sleepy newborn and they stay asleep until their next feeding cycle.


Tip 1 – Have baby essentials prepared – How to Get Newborn to Sleep without Being Held

Have all the baby essentials ready in the nursery so you are able to keep baby nice and comfortable. One of the basic accessories to have around is a changing table prepared with diaper rash cream and lotion. We want to make sure baby’s diapers are nice and clean before their next long nap.  Rash cream and lotions will help keep their skin healthy and reduce irritations.  Comfortable clothing such as organic cotton sleepers are great options.

If you are still looking for baby essentials, upcoming The Baby Show Toronto 2022 and Bump Baby and Toddler Expo 2022 are great options to check out different brands and products!


Tip 2 – Space heaters – How to Get Newborn to Sleep without Being Held

Crank up the heat and keep baby warm. Young babies do not have the ability to regulate body heat when they are newborns, so making sure they are dressed in an extra layer as well as a space heater in their room is perfect. Afterall, it was pretty toasty inside mommy’s tummy.  During our Toronto newborn photography sessions, we like to keep the studio warm. Often parents will find it too warm, but that is perfect indication that the little precious bundle is going find it comfortable.  For siblings and parents attending a newborn photoshoot, it is a good idea to dress in layers so you can feel more comfortable if the studio gets too warm.


Tip 3 – Swaddles – How to Get Newborn to Sleep without Being Held

Babies love a good swaddle! Really, they do! Especially when working with older newborns in our Toronto photography studio, they tend stay awake for a longer time, and are generally more curious. We usually will wrap them and create beautiful newborn portraits  all bundled up. When they are tucked up in a firm swaddle, they feel secure – just like they are still in mommy’s belly. Even the most wide-eyed newborn will eventually fall asleep because they are so comfortable.  This is a good trick to if you want to know how to get newborn to sleep without being held in the bassinet as well.


Tip 4 – Pacifier – How to Get Newborn to Sleep without Being Held

It’s funny how the natural instinct of a newborn is to fall asleep when they repeat the motion of nursing or bottle feeding. While some babies are not a fan of pacificers, many newborns will learn to take one and find the soothing benefits of sucking to help them fall asleep. During our Toronto newborn session, when required, we will use a pacifier to help baby get some snooze and we can pose them beautiful without being held.  Being pacifier and feeding, we can get baby comfortably settled in on their own for us to photograph them.


Tip 5 – Belly full of milk – How to Get Newborn to Sleep without Being Held

Just like adults, babies are happiest when their bellies are full. And their favouriate food on the menu? Milk! Whether your newborn is bottle fed or breast fed, or maybe a combination of both, sleep coma is the most adorable sight when milk dribbles out of the corner of their mouth. A full belly is one of the most effective ways on how to get newborn to sleep without being held. They will usually sleep until they feel hungry again or need a diaper change. When our clients are looking for a Toronto newborn photographer, we like to recommend that bringing extra milk is essential for a successful newborn session!



We hope these helpful tips we used during our Toronto newborn photography sessions will answer the some of the mysteries on how to get newborn to sleep without being held! It is so important for new moms and dads to get enough sleep so you can really enjoy the precious moments of welcoming your baby to the family!


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